NOVEMBER 2016
Super Bowl Host Committee mascot "TD" with Foundation President Dr. Julie Baker Finck.
DEAR HOUSTON COMMUNITY

Many of us will gather with family and friends later this month to celebrate Thanksgiving and the many blessings in our lives. Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of the "Season of Giving". I urge you to take time as a family to discuss what the "Season of Giving" means to you and how you may create a family legacy of service to others by giving your time and resources. 

One family tradition I encourage you to begin is participating in #GivingTuesday on November 29. #GivingTuesday is a global day of philanthropy across more than 70 countries and 30,000 organizations that is fueled by social media and collaboration.  #GivingTuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and recognizes the power of service to others and the value of giving back. Whether you give $5 or $5,000 on #GivingTuesday to a charitable organization, feel confident that your generosity can bring about real change in our community.

A second tradition to adopt during the "Season of Giving" is to volunteer as a family. Volunteers can change lives. By engaging in acts of kindness and helping others in need, you will indeed lead by example and inspire your children to live a life of service. We are hosting family-friendly volunteer opportunities throughout the month of December. Go to Connect4Literacy.org to sign up and join us.

This Season of Giving, reach beyond yourself. Take action. Make a difference.

Yours in service,



Julie Baker Finck, Ph.D.
President


A LEGACY OF FAMILY LITERACY - 
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM
NEIL BUSH 

My mom is known as the "First Lady of Literacy" and over the years has been a champion for many literacy-related causes across the country. The principal focus of her national foundation has been family literacy and, as such, this Family Literacy Month is a celebration of Barbara Bush and thousands of others nationwide dedicated to promoting family literacy.  

Barbara Bush has always understood that learning starts and is reinforced at home. We didn't discuss literacy in our home, but mom used our home environment to practice great literacy development for her children. She frequently read to us, spoke to us using words that developed early vocabulary, and encouraged us to speak in clear sentences and to write thank-you notes. 
WHAT DO LADY GAGA AND  BARBARA BUSH HAVE IN COMMON?

From Left: Austin Boatwright, Lizzie Andrews, Maria Bush,
Neil Bush, Morgan Relyea, and Lucas Somoza. 
CHECK OUT THE "WILD" PHOTOS FROM OUR 
JUNGLE BOOK GALA

On October 21 our  Young Professionals Group (YPG) hosted its second annual black-tie  Jungle Book Gala at The Dunlavy. 

Honorary chairs included Dwight Howard, NBA All-Star and founder of the D12 Foundation, and Lucas Somoza, international stylist and event designer. More than $55,000 was raised to support the efforts of our YPG to build home libraries for low-income children across Houston. We are grateful to Central Houston Cadillac for their generous sponsorship.
Dr. Bob Sanborn, Children at Risk Executive Director,
with First Lady Barbara Bush and Neil Bush.
MRS. BUSH RECEIVES ACCOLADES AWARD FROM CHILDREN AT RISK

Each year the nonprofit organization Children at Risk seeks to award an individual or organization who has made exceptional strides in guiding children to find success in their futures with the Accolades Award. The individual chosen for this honor is a person who "has acted selflessly to directly benefit and improve the lives of children." This year the organization chose Mrs. Barbara Bush, the Foundation's visionary, as the Accolades Award recipient. Children at Risk is guided by the mission to drive change for children through research, education and influencing of public policy. As a champion of literacy on a national scale and in the Houston community for over 25 years, Mrs. Bush has made groundbreaking changes by increasing the level of awareness of this issue. She has impacted many families through the programs funded by the Foundation.
WILL YOU HELP ME LEARN HOW TO READ?

By spending just 30 minutes a week, online or in person, you can help change a child's life. For first-graders in the Houston Independent School District, learning to read is a top priority. But reading isn't just a classroom activity. Thousands of these children have no one at home who can read to them or with them. And many do not have books in their homes.
REAL MEN READ

We are partnering with HISD to recruit business and community members from across the greater Houston area to volunteer one hour of their time once a month to serve as  MENtors to third-graders at the classroom level. The  Real Men Read program reinforces three fundamental principles: reading is fun, the community cares, and a commitment to education can ensure success. As one of our MENtors, volunteers will have the opportunity to significantly impact the lives of children and their future success by reading and engaging in fun activities with them once a month. 

In the words of one of our MENtors,  "Being a part of Real Men Read for the past seven years has provided me with a connection to tomorrow, as well as an opportunity to help shape that tomorrow by creating a love of reading, of knowledge, of creativity and of awe that we explore by reading. Simply put, I love it!" - Bill Turney

To become a MENtor, please contact Amber at Amber@BushHoustonLiteracy.org or by phone at 346-212-2310.
CITGO employee Sandra Everington and her family volunteered together building Little Free Libraries.
FAMILY VOLUNTEERING

Volunteering as a family can be a great way to model citizenship, teach the principles of giving, and demonstrate how service can make a difference to the next generation. On September 24 the Houston Public Library launched the  Groomed for Literacy event, with volunteers from several organizations participating, including employees of  CITGO.
Dr. Finck with the volunteer team that
made My Home Library possible. 
HACKATHON GENERATES 
NEW TECHNOLOGY 

The inaugural Houston OpenGive Hackathon, hosted by Credera, was held on Friday and Saturday, October 21-22. Throughout the event, a team of 40 volunteers collaborated using their development, design, and technical skills on software projects dedicated to benefiting three local non-profit organizations: Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Living Water International, and Pain is Power

In partnership with OpenGive, the Foundation has developed My Home Library, an online application which enables children from low-income households to create a wishlist of books and for members of the community to make a child's wish come true by funding these libraries. During OpenGive, nearly 700 hours were spent planning for and executing the projects, and an estimated $65,075 was donated in hours of work to the non-profits. We are very grateful for Credera and all of the volunteers. 
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